19 Jan Quality of Life in Old Age
Bette Davis once said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies!” When we were younger, we may have thought she was just complaining about getting old. As we age, however, we come to appreciate the truth behind that statement. Phelps LaClair is a second-generation estate planning law firm in our fifth decade of practice in the Phoenix Metro area. We can attest to the fact that aging is not without its own unique set of challenges. Many studies have shown that as we age we either get better, or we get bitter. But what keeps us going in a positive direction as we grow older? What do we—or our elderly parents and loved ones—need in order to experience an increased quality of life in old age?
1. Physical well-being
As Paul Simon wrote, “A good day is when you wake up and nothing new is hurting.” There is no doubt that staying in good physical condition contributes to our happiness. Apart from genetics, there is much we can control when it comes to physical health. The prime considerations are a balanced diet, enough rest, and regular exercise.
Quality of life is closely related to our ability to perform the normal activities of day-to-day living. If we allow a sedentary lifestyle to dominate us, we will inevitably grow weaker. Even though the loss of muscle mass begins in your thirties, keeping muscle tone is something we can control throughout our lives by exercising for a least 15 to 20 minutes each day.
2. Emotional well-being
Our emotional state can have a tremendous impact on our sense of quality of life. Our senior years are often the most satisfying and fulfilling times of our lives. This is the time when we have life sorted out (mostly). We know who we are, what we can and can’t do, and we have a track record of accomplishments that bring us much pleasure.
But there are also circumstances beyond our control that can produce negative emotions if we dwell on them. Anxiety is a joy-killer; so is fear. Having a fear of the future can cause us to lose hope, without which we can lose the desire to live.
The increased use of anti-anxiety medication is an indication that we are out of balance and our quality of life is not as high as it could be. Having a positive outlook on life is essential to emotional well-being and quality of life. For many people, the answer to anxiety lies in having a spiritual connection to a higher power. It is a fundamental principle of Alcoholics Anonymous that has brought many thousands of people out of alcohol addiction and into a life of peace and joy. Whether you call it prayer, meditation or contemplation, exercising your spiritual life significantly increases your overall emotional health and life satisfaction.
3. Social well-being
Humans are social animals. We love to spend time with other people. There are few things more satisfying than sharing life together with family and friends. When our inner social circle is filled with people we love, our quality of life can be incredibly satisfying and life-giving.
On the other hand, when we are emotionally separated from friends and family, we are more prone to depression. Chronic depression has physical side effects that are always detrimental to our health. For health care professionals, it comes as no surprise that the suicide rate has increased during this pandemic.
We need daily contact with other people. We need to love and know that we are loved. It is this human interaction that sustains us into and through our golden years.
Quality of Life In Your Old Age
Knowing that your future is secure and your family is taken care of can produce the highest quality of life. This is where Phelps LaClair comes in. Through thorough and complete estate planning, we can bring you peace of mind for your life and those who will remain behind when you are gone. From wills and trusts, to advance directives and incapacity, Phelps LaClair can design a plan for you that meets your goals and desires. Call us today for a free consultation. Your quality of life is about to get better!